$16 000 USD

JANUARY 2020

GLOBAL

LEDGER

DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS

"Based in France, Ledger is the largest cryptocurrency hardware wallet company." "Ledger is a hardware cryptocurrency wallet that is used to store, manage, and sell cryptocurrency. The funds held in these wallets are secured using a 24-word recovery phrase and an optional secret passphrase that only the owner knows."

 

"Ledger offers two products, the Nano S and Nano X, that can store the digital keys used to secure crypto wallets. The devices can be used with a variety of cryptocurrencies, are compatible with numerous apps, and are supposed to offer a safe way to manage crypto without compromising too much on convenience. Ledger says on its website that it has sold 1.5 million products to customers in 165 countries to date."

 

"Since the introduction of the Chrome Web Store in 2011, it has become the largest catalog of browser extensions with over 200,000 available to all of our users. This has helped millions of users to customize their browsing experience on Chrome in ways we could have never imagined, from niche utilities to companies building businesses around the platform’s capabilities."

 

"The official Ledger Support Twitter handle confirmed the detection of the extension malware on Jan. 2, using the header “PHISHING ALERT.”"

 

"PHISHING ALERT. A Chrome extension malware has been detected called "Ledger Secure". This is NOT a legitimate Ledger application."

 

"According to the user, this extension is a scam that imitates a Ledger product to steal the crypto assets of users from their Ledger wallets. He stated that the malware used sends users’ seed phrases to its creator allowing them to access assets held on their Ledger wallets. He also revealed that the scam had already affected one user."

 

"Twitter user and software architect WizardofAus (@BTCSchellingPt) has warned cryptocurrency holders against a Chrome extension for Ledger crypto wallets that allegedly contains malware." "[I]t's the #1 result searching for @Ledger extensions on the chrome store."

 

"Malware Chrome extension alert. If you have "Ledger Secure" installed - REMOVE IT. The @ChromeExtension "Ledger Secure" contains malware that passes your seed phrase back to the extension's author. This is *not* a @Ledger product. Successfully used against @hackedzec."

 

"According to WizardofAus, the malware has already claimed at least one victim, allegedly stealing 600 ZEC – roughly US$16,000 – from Twitter user @hackedzec."

 

"“@hackedzec”’s Twitter handle was notably created in Jan. 2020; both the handle’s novelty and the chosen name suggest that he created the account specifically to spread awareness following his experience of the malware."

 

"In @hackedzec's case, 600ZEC were taken from his Ledger Nano by the extension author. That's around 2.3BTC /USD$16k - bigtime pain." "In WizardofAus’ account, 600 in Zcash (ZEC) — worth roughly $16,000 by press time — was stolen from @hackedzec’s holdings in his Ledger Nano by the Chrome extension’s creator."

 

"600 $zec was stolen from me this year." "It was a huge loss - should have reached out to crypto twitter but oh well. There are ppl like me that actually got hacked."

 

"Former Trezor executive and contributor to the “Little Bitcoin Book” Alena Vranova retweeted WizardofAus’ tweet with the comment: “another proof that the word ‘secure’ does not imply security.”"

 

"Referring to Casa founder Jeremy Welch’s warnings last year against browser extension malware at the Bitcoin (BTC) event Baltic HoneyBadger in Riga, WizardofAus outlined the risks posed by these products — and what users can do to protect themselves." "@jeremyrwelch from @CasaHODL presented on precisely this risk at Baltic HoneyBadger 2019 in Riga - malign browser extensions."

 

"Firstly, be very careful what extensions you install. If you're using the same computer for your crypto as you use generally, be extra diligent. Better to have a separate minimal machine - or use a Virtual Machine that is the only place you do crypto activity. For using software with your hardware wallets, use the wallet vendor's software. When you get that software, check it comes from the vendor's website, that the link is secure, and ideally you can validate the software checksum. Please learn from others' expensive lessons."

 

"Stolen $zec coins are being moved. 300 of the 600 moved to exchanges. Not sure if anybody knows what exchanges these are."

 

"Google has acknowledged a general problem with malicious extensions and has announced new rules for the Chrome Web Store. It said:"

 

"We want to ensure that the path of a user discovering an extension from the Chrome Web Store is clear and informative and not muddled with copycats, misleading functionalities or fake reviews and ratings."

 

"The rules forbid developers from publishing multiple extensions that do the same thing, and prohibits misleading metadata, including anonymous user testimonials in app descriptions. Developers can’t upload extensions that exist solely to launch another app or extension, and they shouldn’t send spam notifications, the company added."

 

"It said that developers must comply with the policy after 27 August 2020. After that point, apps violating the rules “may be taken down and disabled”."

 

HackedZec "[t]racked it down thru tx addresses - ended up at bittrex." "I actually tracked my funds down to Bittrex and they know the name of the user, but won’t release it unless law enforcement requests it. Unfortunately, local law detectives don’t know what to do - and won’t pursue the case." "Local police had no idea what to do & refused to pursue it."

Ledger, based in France, is on of the most popular manufacturers of Ledger hardware wallets. A malicious Ledger browser extension for Chrome was found at the number 1 spot, which requests the user's seed phrase and sends it to the extension creator, who then uses it to steal funds from users. At least one user lost $16k from this extension. The affected user reported the crime only locally, and no funds have been recovered.

HOW COULD THIS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED?

Never provide your seed phrase to anyone except the actual physical hardware wallet. No official Ledger applications nor services will ever ask you for it.

 

Check Our Framework For Safe Secure Exchange Platforms

https://micky.com.au/malware-chrome-extension-steals-16000-from-ledger-wallet-user/ (Mar 13)
@BTCSchellingPt Twitter (Mar 19)
https://sochain.com/address/ZEC/t1YvimnGBmVA7xDiPnqwbKsvujmSJz4X5m2 (Mar 19)
https://sochain.com/address/ZEC/t1KVcK1PEFHRjzJTA3oeXA82tiUGj5V72Cb (Mar 19)
@hackedzec Twitter (Mar 19)
SoChain | Bitcoin API and More (Mar 19)
https://sochain.com/address/ZEC/t1cBSwqxiSx1n19aykKTgFGcFkuHBLuG3Pr (Mar 19)
@hackedzec Twitter (Mar 19)
Ledger Wallet User Allegedly Lost $16K to Malicious Browser Extension (Mar 19)
@Ledger_Support Twitter (Mar 19)
@hackedzec Twitter (Mar 19)
@hackedzec Twitter (Mar 19)
Beware of alleged Ledger Secure malware: Users at risk | Cryptopolitan (Mar 19)
"Ledger Secure" Wallet Chrome Extension Scam [Update] (Mar 19)
Ledger User Allegedly Loses $16,000 to Malicious Browser Extension | Cryptoglobe (Mar 19)
Attack of the Browser Extensions - CoolWallet (Mar 19)
A malicious Google Chrome extension cost one user $16,000 - Decrypt (Mar 19)
Chromium Blog: Keeping spam off the Chrome Web Store  (Mar 13)
More crypto-stealing Chrome extensions swatted by Google – Naked Security (Mar 2)
Ledger Live : Most trusted & secure crypto wallet | Ledger (Feb 13)
Ledger Refuses Refunds, Tells Clients “Bank Vault Is More Secure” | Financegates (Mar 19)
Physical Addresses of 270K Ledger Owners Leaked On Hacker Forum - Slashdot (Mar 19)
Scammers Are Using Fake Devices to Steal Cryptocurrency Wallets | PCMag (Mar 6)
@AlenaSatoshi Twitter (Mar 19)
@BTCSchellingPt Twitter (Mar 19)
Nasty Ledger wallet scams. And how to avoid them. - Who Took My Crypto (Mar 20)
@hackedzec Twitter (Mar 26)
@segunalad Twitter (Mar 19)

Sources And Further Reading

 For questions or enquiries, email info@quadrigainitiative.com.

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